Lorraine Ryan

It’s not the story of his oncological journey –
watching a college roommate fade away from leukemia
the way his residents spoke of him: “He never reminds you about
his place in this field…”
the way he made his midnight visits to me –
wiping his brow
sharing his day
listening to me
but all this helps.

It’s because on the day I peeked at my hospital chart
(you know the one containing all those secrets about you)
His entry on the first day he met me
After seeing my broken body –
                    bald head
                    bruises with hues of purple, blue, and yellow
                    a transverse colostomy – scars like raw meat
                    ignited from necrotic tissue
“This lovely lady arrived for a consultation…”